If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, I’d urge you to get to grips with Yo Gabba Gabba, which is a sensationally well-conceived kids show from the US that’s been running for about four years:
Yo Gabba Gabba is the creation of W!ldbrain Entertainment, who have to be one of the coolest multimedia companies I’ve encountered. Based in LA and NYC, these guys make TV shows, films, adverts and merchandise, and have partnerships in place with Nickelodeon and Disney.
They also own Kidrobot, which has a strong line in collectible vinyl toys, clothes and art. So it won’t come as a surprise that Yo Gabba Gabba is centred around five toys:
- Muno (he’s tall and friendly)
- Foofa (she’s pink and happy)
- Brobee (the little green one)
- Toodee (she likes to have fun)
- Plex (a magic robot)
The characters are brought to life at the beginning of each show by their owner DJ Lance Rock:
As well as being an educational and visually stimulating show, I think it’s a great example of how content powers commerce, with W!ldbrain capitalising on the strength of their creation through “apparel, accessories, books, electronics, games, home décor and toys, available at retail through top licensees”, including their Kidrobot stores (clever, huh?), “Spin Master, Ltd., Simon & Schuster, Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment, Nickelodeon/Sony BMG and others” (thanks Wikipedia).
This kind of integrated commercial thinking takes true advantage of today’s twisted media landscape, subverting pre-existing norms of content creation and ownership.
For example, a recurring musical segment in the show features The Aquabats, a superhero-themed rock band fronted by the show’s creator. The Aquabats have now been awarded their own W!ldbrain-produced TV show – so it’s evident these guys are all about through-the-line thinking.
What a modern company – W!ldbrain, I salute you.